Catao and Cataos

Catao and Cataos (work-in-progress)


“It’s said that the Catao and Cataos families actually used to be the same — what do you know about it?” my grade-school classmate Arturo Abellana queried me some months back.  I had heard of the Catao and Cataos surnames but was taken aback that they could have had the same origin.

The possibility had never occurred to me, perhaps because I am also aware that there is (was) an Alfafara and an Alfafaras, a Barcelo and a Barcelos (and even a Barceloy), and an Emnace and Emnacen families (now somewhat blurred), but each originally distinct from the other.  Catão is a Portuguese surname and Catán is possibly its Spanish (Castilian) equivalent and closest in pronunciation. But while both Catao and Catan are found in the catálogo de apellidos of the Claveria decree, Cataos is not,  and would be more problematical as to its origin, and consequently, its meaning, too — except, perhaps, for the  Cebuano meaning [mermaid/-man], from which sirenic suggestion the family may understandably have wanted to dissociate itself.

Sufficiently intrigued by the promise of some detective work however, I told Boboy that I’ll include Catao and Cataos, but only in my normal course of research.

My earliest person of the family was Marciano Catao (pre-Claveria Francisco Mariano) and the earliest record I had in my files was of the baptism in 1827 of his and Luisa (Ma. Luisa) Tanguilid’s son, Francisco Fermin. Fermin Catao, as the son was later known, married Luisa Manguiran in 1853. A daughter of Marciano, Claudia was also married the same year to Mariano Gempesao. In both those 1853 records, Marciano Catao was said to be a resident of Bacsiji.

The Cataos “branch”, if it originated from Catao, probably dates only by the third or fourth generation  from Marciano. I cannot categorically say if Candido Catao was a grandson or great-grandson of Marciano but the point is, after all, quite traceable. However at this stage of my research, the Cataos surname appears to be confined to Candido’s sons Valerio and Ignacio (and maybe other offsprings) even if at the time of their respective marriages in 1944 and 1955 the two were both still called Catao.

[30-Mar-2011:  Traceable indeed, Candido was a great-grandson of Marciano, son of Gonzalo and Severina Abadilla here on this tree. I have also linked 3 more siblings of Fermin and Claudia. ]

I think we should try to get to the first record of the family using Cataos.  And, admittedly, an interview of the members should put this in the correct perspective. [combined they have a total 63 voters, 15 of whom are Cataos].

3 generations

Marciano Catao (      ) pDn: Francisco Mariano; 1853 resident of Bacsiji

=Luisa Tanguilid (      ) pDn: Ma. Luisa

Fermin Catao (1827-    ) pDn: Francisco Fermin (bapt.)

–=(1853) Luisa Dayday Manguiran (

Julia Catao (1853-

Gregoria Catao (1855-

Guillerma Catao (1857-

Cecilio Catao (1859-

Martina Catao (1863-

Valentin Catao (1865-

—=(1887) Bernardina Genovaga Dayondon (calc. 1870-

Petronila Catao (1867-

—=(1886) Nicolas Gempesao Apao

—- Vicente Catao (

—-= Ygnacia Rebeldi Moncida

Saturnino Catao

—= Basilia Maballe Barbon

—- Sabas Catao (

—-= Francisca Gempesao Apao

—- Gonzalo Catao (calc. 1870

—-=(1890) Severina Dayondon Abadilla (calc. 1870

Casimira Catao (1871-

Venancia Catao (1878-

—= Julio Tagimacruz Embalzado

Claudia Catao

–=(1853) Mariano Gempesao

Jose Catao (    -1903)

–= Agata Gemota

—-Estevan [sic] Catao (1867-

Leona Catao (1870-

Anacleto Catao (1877-

Llonora Catao (    -1903)

–=Ysidro Canoy

Eulalia Catao (    -1900)

–=Manuel Devanadera


  1. Hi I am one of the granddaughters of Dr. Cataos and the daughter of Judith Cataos Alcos.

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